LAHORE: Moving scenes were witnessed at the public hospitals where a large number of people were desperately trying to locate their loved ones after the Ferozepur Road terrorist attack on Monday.
According to the latest updates released by the Rescue 1122, some three hours after the suicide attack, total 54 injured people were shifted to various public hospitals in the provincial capital.
A majority (28) of those injured, including two women, were shifted to the Lahore General Hospital (LGH) where the condition of three of them was stated to be serious.
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Similarly, of the total injured people 13 were shifted to the Jinnah Hospital.
As it took the hospitals’ administrations some time to display the list of those injured in the attack, their relatives and friends of those gone missing were in panic.
However, later the hospitals declared a high state of emergency situation and established separate “crisis management cells” to facilitate the “annoyed visitors” in tracing their loved ones.
According to the information gleaned from the LGH and the Jinnah Hospital, most of the injured were youngsters.
Eighteen-year-old Jamil, who got his leg fractured following the blast, said he was standing outside a paan shop when the powerful explosion occurred.
“I ran for cover and as soon as I reached Ferozepur Road, a driver lost control of his car, probably due to the intensity of the blast, and hit me badly,” Jamil said. He said he could not forget the scene where many people were lying with injuries, some of them dead.
An elderly woman, Samia Bibi, was seen running here and there at the emergency department of the LGH to find her young son.
She told the media that her son, Umar Deraz, had called from the blast site and informed her that he was also among those injured. After that his phone went silent, she added.
“The news landed like a bomb on our family. When we tried to contact him again, his phone didn’t respond,” the shattered mother said.
Samia’s told duty doctors that she had already visited Jinnah and Services hospitals but could not find her son there.
However, after some efforts, the doctors managed to reunite the elderly woman with her son who was being treated at the medical unit of the emergency ward.
Umar had suffered some wounds in the chest and head. However, his condition was stated to be out of danger.
Another injured, Khalid, a resident of Kasur, told the media that he had come to Lahore to see his relatives in Green Town.
“I disembarked from the bus and was waiting for a van at a bus stop near the Arfa Kareem Tower to reach Green Town, when a powerful explosion occurred,” Khalid said. For a moment, he said, he could not recall what had happened to him and then he came to know about the blast and saw people lying injured around him.
“Then I found myself being carried to an ambulance by a Rescue official where two persons were already lying with multiple wounds,” he said.
Jinnah Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Sohail Saqlain said his hospital had received 13 injured persons and as many dead.
He said of the injured only one was in a serious condition while another had been operated upon and was in a stable condition.
All the 13 people who got admitted to the Jinnah Hospital were young males, he said, adding that one of them, Khalil, had been referred to the facility from Ittefaq Hospital. Of the injured, he said, three were policemen.
Dr Saqlain said a crisis management cell was updating the relatives about the condition of their loved ones.
The LGH administration said only three of the injured persons brought to the facility were in a serious condition.
Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2017